Consolidated cybersecurity management

Issue 7 2023 Editor's Choice, Information Security, Infrastructure

Many cybersecurity companies operate today with similar solutions, but all with their unique cultures and internal norms. SMART Security Solutions spoke to Gareth Redelinghuys, Country Managing Director, African Cluster at Trend Micro, to find out what makes Trend stand out from the crowd and also its latest market offerings.

Most people know Trend Micro as a company that supplies antivirus solutions for computers and mobiles. However, Redelinghuys notes that, while still a market for the company, its solutions and operations reach the biggest global enterprises in operation today with Trend Vision One.

Taking a step back from its technology, Redelinghuys starts by noting that the company’s culture sets it apart. Its focus is on the customer and its employees, and it has several people in South Africa and Africa. The regional HQ in the MEA region backs up its local team with services and support to ensure any crisis its customers may face is handled quickly and efficiently.

The culture extends beyond the company itself, and it is involved in several education initiatives to help companies find qualified cybersecurity skills. Trend currently supports over 30 African students in improving their IT security skills. Once qualified, a few will be employed directly by Trend, while the majority will work for its customers. End-user education is also a critical pillar in the fight against cybercrime in Africa, assisting people in avoiding phishing and other traps that could see their systems compromised.

The local operation is also involved in community work to give back to society, even in areas not involving cybersecurity and IT.

Addressing the smallest to most significant threats

While the antivirus business has been going for over three decades, today, Redelinghuys says the company has created solutions for all the crucial threats, such as business email compromise (BEC), ransomware and others. It does this through its XDR platform, Trend Vision One. (XDR stands for extended detection and response, a process of collecting and automatically correlating data across multiple security layers – email, endpoint, server, cloud workload, and network. This allows for faster detection of threats and improved investigation and response times through security analysis.)

One of the benefits of XDR is consolidation. Instead of having companies running a host of independent solutions, even if each is the best-of-breed solution in its space, if they do not easily share information, the company still needs different skills for each, complicating the approach to cybersecurity. XDR integrates the output of various point solutions into a single management interface to ensure coherent and consistent management of the organisation’s IT assets.

Redelinghuys provides an example of receiving an alert from an endpoint device. With XDR, Trend Micro allows the cyber teams to trace the path of the threat from when it entered the system, through which application and how, allowing for simpler management and mitigation. This allows for an open, connected strategy to protect the company.

This, naturally, includes cloud services. All executives need to realise that cloud service providers provide infrastructure services (along with some cybersecurity services), but the responsibility to secure your cloud lies with the customer. Partnerships with cloud providers allow Trend to integrate cloud, on-premises and hybrid solutions into its Vision One XDR solution, multiplying the efficacy of its point solutions and enabling consolidated risk mitigation processes such as Zero Trust and more. It even provides virtual patching for users still using Windows 7.

While the company naturally wants people to use all its solutions to secure their servers, endpoints, email gateways, etc., it can use open APIs to integrate information from third parties and share information via Vision One’s dashboard (Trend Micro agents must be installed on the products being protected).

A channel approach

Trend Micro works through channel partners, but has high-level skills in South Africa to assist where required. While South Africa is the hub for the African cluster, as noted, additional skills can be called on from the Middle East HQ whenever needed.

Redelinghuys says that Trend’s Vision One empowers customers’ cyber teams to manage every risk and threat lifecycle stage with intuitive applications to detect, hunt, investigate, analyse, respond, and automatically surface prioritised risks and vulnerabilities. This approach eases security operations while providing the correct information, which allows teams to develop plans, to reduce risk and improve key performance indicators, like mean time to detect, patch, and respond.


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